Made in PHILAD(A): No. 2

By Bopp, Carl | The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc., June 2003 | Go to article overview

Made in PHILAD(A): No. 2


Bopp, Carl, The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc.


Thomas Napier was an early Philadelphia plane maker (Figure 1). He made planes in Edinburgh, Scotland, circa 1773, before coming to Philadelphia in 1774.1 Three of his early advertisements are shown in the booklet, Thomas Napier the Scottish Connection, by Alan Bates.2 The first advertisement is from the Pennsylvania Mercury, 28 April 1786. In it Napier made note that he was "from Edinburgh" and "that he carries on his business in Second Street, opposite the New Market, Philadelphia." He then went on to list over fifty different planes he could make. Charles Hummel made mention of this advertisement back in 1965) in his article, "The Evidence of the Dominys," in the Winterthur Portfolio, so some E.A.I.A. members have known of Thomas Napier for a long time.''

The second advertisement that Bates shows is from 13 January 1794. At that time, Napier was working in Wilmington, Delaware. The advertisement offered a ten dollar reward for a "RAN - AWAY" indentured servant. The reward would be paid by "John Gibb, in Philadelphia," or by "Thomas Napier Plane- Maker, in Wilmington." I suggest that Napier left Philadelphia because of the city's yellow fever epidemic in 1793, which was so bad that thousands fled the city. In the 1790s it was not yet known that a mosquito transmitted the yellow fever disease, and Napier's shop "in Second Street, opposite the New Market," was just a few blocks from mosquito breeding swamps!

The third advertisement is from the Aurora, dated 14 April 1796. In it Napier "respectfully informs his old Customers, that he has returned from Wilmington, and carries on the Plane - Making Business, At the Old Place, opposite the New Market."

Along with making planes, Napier is also known for making and selling pills. Many Philadelphia directories, from 1797 on into the early 1800s, list him as a "plane maker" and "proprietor" or "manufacturer of Fisher's or Napier's pills." Early on the pills were called "Fisher's"; later they were called "Napier's," and later yet they were called "Fisher or Napier's pills." Never was it mentioned what the pills were for, but it might be more than a coincidence that the directories had him listed as working first on "Relief Alley" and then "Relief Street"! It would be my guess that the pills were sold, as a lot of medicine at that time was, to cure whatever problem you had. We can find out why they were called "Fisher's" pills by going to the earliest Napier advertisement that I know of, the Pennsylvania Mercury, no. 1, 20 August 1784.

Now we know why they were called "Fisher's" pills, hut note he never said what they were for. Perhaps some day, someone will find an advertisement from Napier, or his uncle in Edinburgh, that will tell us what the pills were for. The advertisement is also proof that he was selling the pills before 1797, the date he was previously said to have started selling them." The advertisement also hints at some past catastrophe, in that he "supplied himself with a stock of seasoned wood, suitable for carrying on his business." It sounds as if he had lost his supply of seasoned wood (by fire?) in that he had to replace it. On 25 March 1785, just seven months after the above advertisement, Napier placed another advertisement in the same paper (the Pennsylvania Mercury, no. 32).

Thomas Napier, Plane-maker,

Has moved from his house in Dock-street, to Second street, opposite the New Market, and next door to the sign of the Lamb, where he continues to carry on his Business in its various branches, and makes and sells all kinds of Working Tools for Carpenters and Joiners, in the neatest manner and at the lowest prices, equal in quality to any imported from Europe. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Made in PHILAD(A): No. 2
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.